Over 400 delegates and observers will congregate in the City Hall in Cork for the SIPTU Biennial Delegate Conference this Monday evening. It is a time for the union to take stock of what it has achieved for workers over the past two years and to set out a vision for our future.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Your Union, Your Future, Your World’ and has over 50 motions up for debate on a wide range of topics of concern for working people, their families, communities and the world around us.
Delegates will also ratify new SIPTU National Officers and elect an Honorary President and Vice-President during conference, they will debate motions on the impact of Brexit on our economy, the future of Europe, solutions to the housing crisis, the funding of public transport, ending the mandatory retirement age of 65 and international issues including trade union rights in Turkey among other countries.
The Conference will have particular significance because it occurs at a time of historic political change throughout Europe and around the World. The popularity of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, particularly among the young, in the United Kingdom, coupled with the campaign by Bernie Sanders for the US Presidency last year, indicate that the ideals of collective solidarity are once again finding a mass audience.
It is this growing sentiment of hope among the young and workers which can inspire our union as it embarks on a new era, the shape of which has been laid out in the recommendations which emerged from the recent membership consultative initiative.
The Conference will be the first that has taken place beyond the immediate shadow of the great economic collapse of 2008. Although the myriad of problems which this national tragedy bestowed on our society, including the worsening housing crisis, are far from resolved our union is now in a position to move forward on its industrial, economic and social agenda.
SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor will deliver his Presidential address on Monday evening. Guest speakers include ICTU General Secretary, Patricia King and US trade union leader Scott Courtney.
Short videos will be available to view and share on the union’s social media channels throughout the conference.